X-Plane 11

X-Plane  is a downloadable flight simulator. What can we compare it to? Well, one of the premier flight simulator software titles out there is the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise. The first title in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series launched in 1982 and the most recent game came out in 2014. Needless to say, it has a long and storied history.

Easily one of the most involved and immersive games out there, the Microsoft Flight Simulator series relies on pure simulation for its main selling point – and this can be a huge negative for many gamers.

After all, some simulation is necessary but too much and the game becomes a chore.

Since piloting a modern jet aircraft is anything but simple, Microsoft Flight Simulator can be overwhelming for newcomers.

But what about X-Plane 11?

How does it stack up when compared to the vaunted Microsoft Flight Simulator series?

How to Download X-Plane 11

The game can be downloaded from the Steam platform. If you want to fly, click on the Download button located below the reviews. This way you will get a free demo to try the game!

The Game Review

Developed and published by Laminar Research, X-Plane 11 is the latest – and probably most competent – a competitor that Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series has had in a while.

Like Microsoft’s series, the game tries to recreate flight cockpits, sounds and controls down to the smallest detail. Again, if you set the flight simulator series as your bar, you’ve made an ambitious choice. Trying to surpass Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is a whole other thing entirely.

In many ways, X-Plane 11 succeeds at this task.

Details are the name of the game when it comes to flight sims and the title doesn’t shy away from even the smallest detail. From catering trucks loading up the plane with the in-flight meal to the real-world replica airports on display, the game doesn’t take anything for granted.

Employing a user-friendly interface, the game seems much more accessible than Microsoft Flight Simulator though this could just be a first-impressions type thing. Both games require mastery and appreciation of depth to truly explore all they have to offer but, on the surface, X-Plane 11 seems way more friendly to newbies.

Cockpit detail and overall plane design are true to life as well as being varied enough so that each model feels like a different experience.

Aircraft fans will especially enjoy the game’s lovingly crafted models and interior spaces. Simulations fans will similarly love the game’s uncompromising approach to recreating the experience of being an airline pilot.

Accurate aircraft models can only take you so far, however. If the sound and, more importantly, the sound effects aren’t up to par then the game will only be so good.

Thankfully, Laminar Research has done their research and everything from takeoff to cruising sounds are recreated in this game.

X-Plane 11
X-Plane 11 is a realistic flight simulator with virtual reality features. Download it and fly in its open world.
9 Total Score
X-Plane 11 Review Summary

At the end of the day, X-Plane 11 is a more modern take on the same formula used by Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s not a radical game in any way but really a pure sim, through and through. As for which title gamers should choose, that depends on whether you’re willing to give a newcomer a chance or would rather stick with the tried-and-true option.

  • Amazingly detailed game
  • Great flight sim competitor to the Microsoft series
  • Variety is the name of the game
  • If you own Microsoft Flight Simulator, do you need this?
  • Details might bog down the casual player
  • More user friendly than some sims, but still complex
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Laminar Research
Publisher Website
Operating System
Windows 7
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
File Size
31.6 MB
Kehl Lutz

Kehl Lutz

Kehl Lutz, also known as Kehl Bayern is our staff writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of video games, he is interested in strategy, simulation, FPS, RPG, fighting, and retro games. Kehl Bayern is also the author of the science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.